Streaming video, with its instant access and wide selection, has exploded over the past few years. Whether it's Netflix, which despite some recent fumbles still remains hugely popular, or other services like Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, and so on, more services and content have become available. Even better, the number of devices capable of streaming that content continues to grow.
With so many options available to stream Internet content, what's your pick?… Read more
Many sound bars offer only a small number of inputs, with often just a single digital and analog audio input on the back to handle your gear. That's hardly enough for a modern home theater packed with a DVR, game console, Blu-ray player, and streaming-media box.
Luckily, you can get around your sound bar's limited selection of inputs by using your TV as a switcher. You'll be able to connect as many devices as your TV supports, and it will even simplify the input selection process.
OK, so only the middle pair is actually universal, but all three pairs of active-3D TV glasses on my head, and compared below, will work with all 2011/2012 Samsung 3D TVs, as well as with 2012 Panasonic 3D TVs.
So if you have one of those 2011/2012 Samsung or 2012 Panasonic TVs and want to watch 3D sources, you actually, for the first time ever, have a real choice in spectacles. The question then becomes, "Which ones should I buy?"
The short answer is, as always, "What do you want?" If you just want to get 3D capability as cheaply as possible, the Samsungs are a shoo-in. If you're willing to pay more for better comfort and durability, I'd recommend the Panasonics. The more expensive Xpand glasses appeal to a smaller niche than either: people who actually anticipate regularly watching active 3D on multiple TVs (namely, ones incompatible with those Samsung or Panasonic glasses) in addition to their primary 3D television.
The shorter answer is "I like the Panasonics best." If you're into 3D enough to actually be buying 3D glasses for the whole family, it might make sense to grab a pair or two of the Panasonics as primary ("daddy" and/or "mommy") glasses and as many Samsungs as you need for other viewers. For 2012 Panasonic TV owners who just want to dabble in 3D, the $20 Samsungs are as risk-free as you can get.
Check out the full reviews, arranged in order of rating below, for more detail. I also listed current Amazon pricing (Xpand's $20 RF dongle will be widely available in four weeks).… Read more
Big-screen OLED TV technology has taken years to come to market, and LG's 55EM9600 won CNET's Best of CES award in January, so among technology enthusiasts, it's safe to classify anticipation for the 4mm-thin television as "high."
CNET's Asia's TV reviewer Philip Wong got the opportunity to spend some hands-on time with an early version of the set yesterday in Monaco, and he liked what he saw -- from deep black levels to superb off-angle viewing, with a potential for accurate color. His conclusion?
In many ways, the 55EM9600 is the "spiritual successor" to the lengendary Pioneer Kuro. Until we have a chance to check out the Samsung OLED panel, this LG easily sets the new benchmark in terms of TV picture quality and slim design.
First, the caveats: I'm assuming that you, like me, will already have an audio source -- an iPod, smartphone, or CD player -- so I'm not including that expense. And you may need to invest in some speaker wire, which could run you another $10 or so. I also name a handful of optional accessories below that … Read more
Sound bars are an excellent compromise between shelling out for an expensive surround-sound system and settling for the tinny sound from your TV's built-in speakers, but that doesn't mean they're perfect. In fact, sound bars have quite a few real-world problems and limitations that are often glossed over, only to rear their heads after you've got one set up at home.
Here's what you should know before you make the jump to buying a sound bar.… Read more
At the 2012 NCTA Cable Show, TiVo announced the eventual availability (again) of a TiVo IP set-top box for viewing content on secondary TVs and a new streaming box for use with mobile devices.
The TiVo IP set-top box (yes, that's what it's being called for now) works as an extender for a TiVo Premiere Q DVR. Connect the box to a secondary TV and to your home network, and you'll have access to live and recorded TV, video-on-demand services, or other broadband-delivered content through the main DVR.
Presumably it'll tie up one of the Q's tuners to access live TV, but with four tuners in the Q, you should be able to hook up multiple IP set-top boxes throughout your home. … Read more
Electronics retailer Value Electronics held its first 2012 flat-panel TV picture quality shootouts last weekend. The event was won by the Panasonic TC-P65VT50.
Panasonic's best plasma TV for 2012 beat out five other contenders. In descending order of average score (see the scorecard below), they were the Samsung PN64E8000 plasma, the Sharp Elite PRO-60X5FD LCD, the Samsung UNES8000 LCD, the LG 60PM9700 plasma and the Panasonic TC-L47WT50 LCD. Despite a lower average score, the voters gave the Elite second place overall however, ahead of the Samsung PNE8000.
The Panasonic VT50 outscored the others in color accuracy and general content … Read more
LG plans to preview its 55-inch OLED TV tomorrow at an event in Monaco, as part of the Grand Prix auto race. Our colleagues at CNET Asia will be attending the event, so look forward to some hands-on action with the new flat-screen shortly.
Local pricing has still not been announced, and there is plenty of speculation on when the organic light-emitting diode television could actually hit the market.
John Taylor, vice president of public affairs and communications at LG USA, said a release in the next month is "unlikely." He indicated that "this is a second … Read more